Omurice オムライス is a popular meal throughout Japan and is often a favorite of children. It is a Western-influenced Japanese dish. Western-influenced food in Japan is known as yoshoku. Omu and raisu are derived from the English words “omelette” and “rice.”
This meal is also extremely popular in South Korea. During my years living in South Korea I would commonly see omurice restaurants in Seoul and Busan and originally thought it was a Korean food. It wasn’t until years later I would learn this dish originated in Japan and was later adopted in Korea. In Hangul it is known as 오므라이스 .
The dish consists of fried rice covered by a thin omelette. The fried rice normally has a sweet taste and is made with ketchup and vegetables such as peas, carrots and corn. It can also sometimes have small pieces of chicken or pork inside. Over the years many forms of the meal have appeared. The omelette on top is normally topped with ketchup as well.
During my years in Korea I saw omurice specialty restaurants that would have dozens of variations on their menu.
In Japan omurice is often served at family restaurants such as Royal Host, Big Boy, Coco’s and Gusto as part of their kid’s meals or okosama-ranchi. It is also a popular meal to be served in homemade bento boxes for kindergarten students.
Omurice is a quick and tasty dish to eat and I would recommend it to anyone thinking of visiting Japan. It is also an easy dish to prepare at home (even if living outside Japan) and there are great recipes for it all over the Internet.
Kevin O’Shea is the host of the Just Japan Podcast as well as the Just Japan News Podcast. He is a Canadian educator who lives in Kobe, Japan with his family.
Follow him on Twitter: @jlandkev